« PreviousContinue »
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INTERNAL INVESTIGATION
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 1977
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommitttee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:35 a.m., in room 2203, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Richardson Preyer (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Richardson Preyer, Leo J. Ryan, Michael Harrington, Peter H. Kostmayer, Ted Weiss, Paul N. McCloskey, Jr., and Dan Quayle.
Also present: Timothy H. Ingram, staff director; Richard L. Barnes, professional staff member; Maura J. Flaherty, clerk; and Catherine Sands, minority professional staff, Committee on Government Operations. Mr. PREYER. The subcommittee will come to order.
I want to thank Director Kelley and his staff for coming here today. We welcome them, including Mr. Mintz and Mr. De Bruler. Is Mr. Long with you today!
Mr. KELLEY. No; we have Mr. Buell, Mr. Clynick, and Mr. Hunsinger here also.
Mr. PREYER. We appreciate your joining us.
This is the subcommittee's fourth public hearing in our examination of Department of Justice policies and procedures for investigating allegations of internal wrongdoing.
We believe it is important to review steps which have been taken within the last year and a half in this area by the Department and its largest component, the FBI. To fully regain the confidence of the American public, these vital law enforcement agencies must convince the public that they are capable of keeping their own houses clean.
We heard last month from Attorney General Bell about his intention to set up a fail-safe system to prevent improper investigative and intelligence activities. Mr. Michael Shaheen told us how the Department's new Office of Professional Responsibility is operating. The General Accounting Office reported to us last week on its examination of the FBI's own, and even newer, Office of Professional Responsibility.
Today we look forward to hearing from Director Kelley and his staff on these questions of self-policing. I do want to again emphasize, as I have at previous hearings, that the subcommittee does not intend to get into the details of individual instances of alleged wrongdoing in any way which might adversely affect any trials or other proceedings. This includes, of course, the indictment of FBI agent John Kearney in New York. Our interest is in principles, policies, and procedures.
Now, Mr. Kelley, it is the custom with this subcommittee that all witnesses be sworn. Would you and those of your staff who may be testifying or who will answer questions please stand and be sworn at this time.
Mr. KELLEY. I would like to include Frank B. Buell, who is in the Administrative Services Division, and Mr. John J. Clynick, Assistant Chief of Budget and Accounting. I do not know that they will be called upon, but I would suggest they also be sworn in.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you.
Mr. PREYER. Do you swear the testimony you are about to give before this subcommittee is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
[All six witnesses, including Director Kelley, Mr. Mintz, Mr. DeBruler, Mr. Buell, Mr. Clynick, and Mr. Hunsinger responded “I do."]
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Kelley, you may proceed in any manner that you wish. If you have an opening statement that you wish to make, that would be fine. I will advise the committee that on opening rounds of questions, at least, we will adhere to the 5-minute rule.
I recognize Mr. Kelley.
STATEMENT OF CLARENCE M. KELLEY, DIRECTOR, FEDERAL
BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE; ACCOMPANIED BY JOHN MINTZ, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, LEGAL COUNSEL DIVISION, FBI; WILBURN K. DeBRULER, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, PLANNING AND INSPECTION DIVISION, FBI; FRANK B. BUELL, ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DIVISION, CHIEF, NCIC; JOHN J. CLYNICK, ASSISTANT CHIEF, BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING, FBI; AND RICHARD G. HUNSINGER, DEPUTY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FINANCE AND PERSONNEL, FBI
Mr. KELLEY. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss with you today what I consider to be one of the most significant administrative changes within the FBI under my stewardship.
That change was the consolidation of all internal review, audit, evaluation, and planning operations within one division—the Planning and Inspection Division.
We are often asked if we can assure the American people there will never again be any recurrence of past actions and policies that have been so soundly criticized.
Our answer is that we have done our best, with the organizational and institutional means at our disposal, to provide that assurance.
I have said before, and I remain firmly convinced, that the basic structure of the FBI is sound; but it would be an affront to your intelligence to tell you integrity can be assured through institutional means alone.
Integrity is a human quality. And the integrity of the FBI, as in any large organization, is dependent upon the character of the FBI Director and every member of the FBI under his supervision.
Through careful screening of applicants, through painstaking background investigation, we strive to bring within the FBI men and women of the highest character and reputation.
Through careful delineation of rules, regulation, and policies attuned to the demands of the American people, we have striven to provide these employees with clearcut standards of professional and ethical conduct.
And by establishing the Planning and Inspection Division, I feel we have maximized our ability to enforce compliance with rules and regulations and to insure conformance to our policies.
The Planning and Inspection Division consists of three offices with distinct but interrelated functions; they are: The Office of Inspections, the Office of Planning and Evaluation, and the Office of Professional Responsibility.
The Division was designed so that all internal review and audit functions, including program analysis and evaluation and planning, would receive coordinated, consistent attention.
The Division reports directly to me.
The Office of Inspections sends specialized inspection teams every 18 to 24 months to each of our 59 field offices, our legal attaches and each headquarters division. However, we may inspect an office at any time, if circumstances are such that an inspection is deemed warranted.
Under recently implemented procedural changes, each inspection is tailored for the specific division, based on evaluation of data concerning the division available at headquarters. These inspections are far more customized than they once were, and we feel, much more effective.
Primarily, the inspection process provides a constant, indepth examination of the FBI's investigative and administrative operations to determine whether: (1) financial operations are properly handled; (2) financial reports are presented accurately and fairly; (3) applicable laws, regulations, and policies have been complied with; (4) resources, including personnel
, are managed and used effectively, economically, and efficiently; and (5) desired results and objectives are achieved in an efficient manner.
We are governed in these inspections to a considerable degree by the auditing standards of the General Accounting Office—“Standards for Audit of Governmental Organizations, Programs, Activities and Functions,” published by the Comptroller General of the United States.
We have redesigned our inspections, particularly with regard to measuring the productivity of an office. Caseload no longer is the main benchmark. We have begun using management by objective and quality versus quantity criteria in selecting and prioritizing our work.
Now, at the outset of an inspection, the field office's programs, priorities, and targets are carefully examined. A determination is made as to whether the field office is adequately addressing major crime problems within its geographic area of responsibility.
White collar crime might be a top priority target in one field office's territory. Organized crime might require the primary attention of another field office. Occasionally, the inspection staff is assisted by supervisors and other officials from headquarters when their expertise is needed for evaluating a particular program.
At the heart of the inspection process is a specialized group of knowledgeable and experienced personnel whom we call the Operational Evaluation Team. This team evaluates the inspection process and inspection staff as the component being inspected.
Members of the team collect and analyze available data at headquarters prior to each field inspection and prepare profiles for the offices to be inspected. At the conclusion of each inspection, they analyze and evaluate the written report of the inspection. This is to insure that problem areas have been identified and referred to appropriate headquarters divisions for remedial action. The team may recommend limited reinspections or a full followup to make doubly certain nothing falls between the cracks.
The inspection staff, in the course of its review of various FBI operations, places great emphasis on insuring improper and illegal activities are not and have not taken place.
In each field inspection, the special agent in charge of the field office is asked to respond to a series of questions serving as an initial check by the inspector. Closely examined are the types of controls and administrative devices used by an SAC to detect any illegal or improper activities.
In establishing the Office of Professional Responsibility, I sought to increase awareness of the necessity for the highest professional and personal conduct throughout the FBI and to seek a definitive and uniform policy in imposing disciplinary action against employees who err.
This office has three basic responsibilities: (1) to supervise investigations, or actually conduct investigations, of alleged criminality and serious misconduct on the part of FBI employees; (2) to maintain liaison with the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility; and (3) to monitor disciplinary actions taken against FBI employees.
For your information, our Office of Professional Responsibility received 199 allegations between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1977. Many of the allegations had no basis in fact; however, following appropriate investigation, disciplinary action was taken in some cases.
In the Office of Planning and Evaluation (OPE), we have formalized the vital functions of collecting and analyzing information essential to proper management of the FBI.
OPÈ is responsible for mid- and long-range planning and a continual evaluation of ongoing policies, programs, and operations of the FBI. These studies extend to every phase of our work and range from complex administrative problems to training, investigative and scientific planning for the future.
We are particularly concerned with planning to meet our future investigative obligations. And now that the Office of Inspections is working more closely with OPE, data derived from field inspections is more readily available to OPE to assist it in that planning.
Through the analysis of inspection results, we are in a better posi
tion to evaluate our current programs and to develop new programs to meet specific needs.
I suppose you could sum the overall responsibility of the Planning
I and Inspection Division as being to keep us on the right track-in our investigative thrust and techniques, as well as professionally and ethically.
And I believe it is doing just that.
Thank you for your attention. I would be happy to answer any questions at this time.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you very much, Director Kelley.
I am certainly pleased to see that you are addressing these problems and making institutional changes to meet them.
agree with you that no organizational or institutional changes or laws can guarantee integrity. It is commonly said that we cannot legislate morality or we cannot change the hearts and minds of people through laws.
But I think we can substantially influence people's conduct and their attitudes through changes in the laws or through institutional or organizational changes.
Anyone who doubts that only has to look at the Civil Rights Act. While you, of course, cannot guarantee integrity, I think you can make changes, as you have done, to affect conduct.
Let me ask you this. Given the temper of the present times, it is hard to imagine that an agent would start right now a mail-opening or a break-in operation. But times change and 5 or 10 years from now these recent abuses might be forgotten and there may be extreme pressure to solve a particular crime by taking some shortcuts.
How effectively can the system which you have outlined and implemented protect against the possibility of agents acting improperly on their own or against supervisors letting it be known in one way or the other that the case has got to be solved regardless of the method and regardless of the means?
Mr. KELLEY. I feel that the procedures we have set up and the followups that we have assure us, to the greatest degree known to us possible to curb and prevent such activities. Yes, time could possibly erase some of the effectiveness of this, were it not for a constant followup, reviews of past problems that we have had, and warnings about the possible reinstitution of some such procedures.
But, I think, Congressman Preyer, that we have done everything we possibly can known to us to establish this preventative type of thing.
Mr. PREYER. I think your emphasis on followup is very appropriate. Sometimes in the flush of enthusiasm we make some changes which we firmly intend to abide by. Then, as time goes by, we tend to put them on the back burner. I am happy to hear your emphasis on that.
The Church committee made a number of recommendations concerning the FBI in its final report. These are recommendations which relate to preventing internal wrongdoing. I want to ask you if you consider that the Bureau has complied with these recommendations or, if not, which ones you did not comply with and why not.
These may be questions that you would rather answer in more detail for the record.
What I am really asking is if you could let us know what has been done by way of following up on the Church recommendations, or your